Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

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Horrace
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Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Horrace »

Hi all, have just spent 4 beautiful days in Kruger :dance: . On 2 occasions either myself or a member of my family have created a traffic jam to allow either a Chamelion or Tortoise to cross the road. Is one permitted for example to help the Tortoise by picking it up and placing it on the side of the road, even though this means getting out of one's car :hmz:

An interesting dilema, as I am sure that the juvenile tortoise that we saw on the preverbial M1 had little chance of making it to the side of the road with so many cars speeding by looking for the Big Stuff.

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DuQues
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by DuQues »

The official SANParks stance is simple, there will be no help, let nature have it's way.
However if an animal is wounded due to human influence (cars for instance) they will act.

So if I see a chameleon cross the road I either block that part of the road to keep it safe, or, if that is not really an option, pick it up and move it.
That may actually give the poor animal a problem though, they are territorial... Did I put it into the right square meter?
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Hippotragus »

I'm not getting into the "rule-breaking" angle, but I do know that one should not pick up a tortoise. Tortoises urinate when picked up (fear, I suppose) and this can dangerously dehydrate them.

We have had instances of a tortoise trying to cross the road and, like others above, stop and wait for it to make its slow way across.
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Rooies
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Rooies »

Very debatable question. If an animals gets injured during a territorial squabble, we say, leave it alone, let nature takes its course but when an animal suffers from injures caused by a snare, the rangers will step in. Now if a chameleon walks across a road, it looses the advantage of its camouflage and are more prone to an attack by a predator, because Man, in this instance, has created a danger for the chameleon by building a road.

I know it is against the rules, but should we not help the poor chameleon who has not yet mastered the trick of copying the colour of the road?
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Mellory
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Mellory »

Malealea wrote: Secondly If you touch a young Tortoise etc. this animal smell like you, that mean in the worst case the Tortoise will die, because the mother will not except a baby with a strange smell.


This is not the case as a tortoise is a reptile and born independent of any parent or parental help. It is true that they urinate when picked up and if not placed in the direction they were going (possibly to water) they could dehydrate, best left for this reason, a road block is good had many strange looks in March, but felt we had no choice with this tiny mite it would definitely have seen its fate as so many others we saw on the road.
Sorry could not bear the thought :redface: naughty naughty.
If us humans had not interfered with nature he would not have been in danger of being run over. :hmz:

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saraf
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by saraf »

Here's a tale for you. SO and I stopped to watch a chameleon cross the road once. After it had safely got to the side of the road we carried on. Only for SO to look into the rear view mirror to see a raptor come down and sweep up the chameleon in its talons and have a nice snack.

Would the bird have seen the chameleon without us stopping? Probably, but I still feel guilty that we flagged up its presence.

Oh and we have been known to stop until a platoon of ants have crossed the road.
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Eagle Owl »

That is a very tiny tortoise, Mellory. And just think how long that little thing will take to cross the road... :hmz: :tongue:

We are only human and in no way perfect. And sometimes we try our utmost to obey the rules and we succeed. But sometimes there are those significant moments you feel to cross the line and you do. But I believe that most of the time where we help nature, it is of so little significance that it definitely can not harm the eco sistem.

I remember somebody posting a photo on the gallery of shame of some rangers helping a baby elephant out of a mud hole. This once they tend to help and some people go on as if it is the end of the world. Just how many elephants do we need to help to equel the amount of elephants that was poached?

Do not tell me that poaching is part of nature!! That baby ellie's rescue did not harm our eco sistem.

I am in no way saying that getting out of your car and helping every tiny mammal, bird or reptile is fine. But sometimes a little help won't hurt.
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Janette
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Re: Breaking Park rules to save an animals life?

Unread post by Janette »

I blocked the road once to spare mating chameleons! After waiting for almost 30 minutes and almost dehydrating in my car I pulled up next to them and hurried them along!
Another time I stopped to let a tortoise cross the road. He then decided to change direction and go under my car!!! We waited ages for another car to come along so they could tell us where the tortoise was and if we could drive off or not!
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Grantmissy
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Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by Grantmissy »

Have you ever been at a sighting or witnessed something happening in Kruger and had a very strong desire to get involved and change the fate/sequence of events or the inevitable outcome? I know it is absolutely not allowed to actually go over to the deed and intervene, so I will stick to that strong desire to get involved. Some years back we watched an Impala fighting and struggling for his life. He was trying to get out of one of those cement troughs provided for drinking water and he probably slipped and broke/injured his leg or something and fell in. He was so desperate to get out of the water trough it was actually very disturbing to watch but he could not stand up on his injured leg and he kept on slipping and he was visibly very tired. We did not see any predators around but it was getting late afternoon and he was probably fully aware what could happen to him (that is how I tried to make sense out of it in a human sort of way). That was really the one time in Kruger where I had that really very strong desire to act on instinct and assist him (very stupid, dangerous and not really possible) rather than human intellect. Anyway, we drove off and reported it at camp.
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by Hippotragus »

Last year my daughter and I were on the tar road north of Satara, going towards Satara, when we saw a newborn wildebeest walking towards the road. When we stopped it walked right up to the bakkie, nuzzling it. We could see the herd in the distance. My daughter banged her door and the calf started walking away, but as soon as we moved, it tried to follow us again. I can only think its mother had died/been killed and the herd had left it. We left with heavy hearts but there was nothing we could do. We did not get out of our vehicle or touch the calf. I did not report it as I felt it was just the sad side of nature and there was nothing anyone could or would do about it.
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by CuriousCanadian »

Not far outside Skukuza on a dirt road we came across this small duck..wandering all alone...

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He followed the car as we travelled slowly down the road. We felt very sad for this young duck as it was late in the day and we figured, lost as he was and not flying, he would not survive the predators that would be coming out at night.
Nothing we could do however.... :(

Some really GOOD stories here.....
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mattmillielibby
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by mattmillielibby »

We saw a baboon mother with a baby, running from her whole troop. As she got closer we saw that the baby was badly injured with its arm hanging off and scratches all over it, possibly already dead. But mum was still clinging to it, screaming. It was so distressing to watch. As the troop continued to chase her, i felt that urge to try and help her, was so sad :(
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lettuceleaf711
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by lettuceleaf711 »

When I was small (so early- to mid-90s), my family and I saw a troop of baboons playing with a tiny lion cub up near Shingwedzi. Some of them were cradling it like a baby - others hit or threw it around. We watched for about half an hour before we had to leave because gate closing time was approaching.

We didn't report it, but somebody must have, because years later we heard that it had been rescued and raised in captivity.
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cheetah2111
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by cheetah2111 »

Brilliant stories shared here :clap:

We tend to apply certain principals of human ethics to the animal world.
One of them being the ethical stance that death should come to the elderly rather than the young.
For example many humans would feel sorry for a young impala lamb being snatched up by a leopard. Partly because we feel the impala lamb didn't stand a chance. "it wasn't fair".

However, there is no justice and injustice when it comes to animals fending for survival. Just because the leopard was dominant and the lamb didn't stand a chance, does not imply it "wasn't fair". The leopard has survived in the same harsh world and come to the point of being a successful hunting adult.

We cannot apply human principals of justice and ethics to animal encounters. We might feel bias towards the preditor, or the prey, but do not let that emotion result in interference with the perfect balance of nature.

Then of coarse there are animals endangered because of human activity. There it is more appropriate to assist the animal in danger. However, that should be handled by professionals rather than any tourist on the road judging for themselves when an animal needs assistance and taking nature into their own hands.

A good topic though. We have this debate at home when our cat brings in a bird it killed :roll: :lol:
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Re: Sightings … that very strong desire to get involved

Unread post by GlenD »

Very interesting thread here.

Cheetah2111, you raise some very valid points there. Interference based on human emotion should be steared clear of, unless if like you say, it was human interference caused the animals distress/death.
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